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tv   News  Al Jazeera  January 30, 2014 12:00pm-12:31pm EST

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>> welcome to al jazeera america. i'm del walters. here are the stories we are following for you. investigators try to determine what caused a kentucky house fire that's left at least nine people dead. most of them were children. after the storm: the blame game goes on in atlanta. and motorists are asked to pick up their abandoned cars. some non-violent drug offenders could get out of jail, thanks to the obama administration.
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>> an overnight house fire in western kentucky. it happened 130 miles southwest of louisville. and police say 11 people were inside of the house when the flames broke out at 2:00 a.m. aljazeera's jonathan martin is at the scene of the fire, and so far, what have we learned? >> del, at this point, the officials say that it's just recovery, unfortunately. they have found the remains of six people inside of the burned out home and a total of nine people have passed away. they have found six bodies, and they believe that three others are inside of the home. they are searching for them and it would be a mother and her children. we know that the father, chad watson, and his 11-year-old daughter, were able to escape the fire. so a total of 11 people inside of the home at the time of the
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fire. two were able to escape. and the two able to escape, the father and the daughter, they were airlifted to the hospital in nashville. as you mentioned, the fire broke out at 2:0 2:00 in the morning. a neighbor called 9-1-1 and some of the first responders live here in the neighborhood. when they got here, the home was fully engulfed to the point that the firefighters were unable to go inside and it was too late to save them. nine people are presumed dead. six bodies recovered. three they're still searching for and two at the hospital. and it's a sad situation as the investigators are trying to get to the bottom of what happened. >> jonathan, two questions. how cold is it where you are, and do they suspect there might have been a heater or something involved in the fire. >> well, it is certainly cold out here, del.
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and last night, there were single-digit temperature. at this point, they don't have an official cause. it's way too early for that. but me are looking into the possibility that a heater or something like that was involved because it was so cold with the temperatures. >> jonathan martin. thank you very much. it is going to be warmer today in georgia. at least it will be above freezing. slamming the city on tuesday, and thousands were stranded inside of their cars. the drivers abandoned those cars or wound up spending the night inside, and school children spent the night in classrooms because they couldn't get them back home. robert is there in atlanta, and you're out there with a lot of people that are probably returning to their cars. >> del, i am. i'm on i-75 north of the city of
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atlanta, and hundreds of vehicles was the national guard is escorted people to their cars that were stranded here the other night, trying to get folks into their vehicles, and to their homes today. that is the story today as the temperatures warm up and people just try to understand what's happening in the last 48 hours. just a second ago, we were talking to one gentleman. this is don goss, and what occurred with you? what's your story? >> well, i left midtown at 1:30, an hour or two too late. and it was -- i wasn't going anywhere, and i pulled in and walked up to cumberland boulevard. and two hours, got about 3 and a half or 4 miles to a friend's
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house. and halfway there, there was a music store, and they were inviting people in and pouring them coffee. and that was a great outpouring of help, halfway there. >> what was the government doing? >> they should have had trucks on the road like they do on the road before it happened, so that when it started freezing, they could have had the sand. that's common sense. >> how about the schools? >> my best friend, they called her at 12:00, saying they were leaving at 2:00 and, she didn't get here until midnight. her child was 8 hours past closing. >> appreciate it. >> i may need you to back up so i can get into the roadway. >> good luck, thanks, don, appreciate it. and so del, you can see people are trying to get out and sort
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of reliving the nightmare, which was 48 hours ago here. and obviously the governor and the mayor on defense as to who takes the blame for this, and perhaps a bigger question, what if there were a real disaster in atlanta? how would the city react? i think that's a major thing that's going to have to be addressed in the coming weeks and months. >> robert gray in atlanta. and thank you very much. they compared it to the living dead, saying that it looked exactly like the movie flyers. warmer weather in atlanta now, and how about the rest of the country? >> it's the start of a warmup. last night it dropped below freezing but it will climb back and not be quite as cold tonight. so that's the good news. this is the visible view. and the actual picture from space, you can't see anything. there's the snow on the ground. and no clouds. so we're getting the melting. the storm is pushing off the coast. and the temperatures still down below freezing and climbing.
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not nearly as much as 24 hours ago. it will be above freezing today and dropping down to below freezing tonight. the story on the west coast, they need the rain in california. and they will get it with this one storm. it will start a pattern change. and though we're getting light snow, briefly heavy. it could coat the ground in some areas. an inch or two, and a few inches farther north in minnesota. but the coating it can expected. behind it, cold air. 2 below in oklahoma and bismarck, but the pattern will change. bitter arctic air on sunday. and that lifts up to the north. and warmer air coming to the mid-atlantic states by this weekend. >> the white house talking about unduly hard prison sentences the
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president commuted the sentences of eight people serving time for crack cocaine convictions. 92 officers have been implicationed for the cheating scandal. the nuclear force has systemic problems, and the pentagon said the mission and the weapons though are safe. bitter divisions in the geneva peace talks today. the rebel fighters, the opposition rejecting that plan. calling for a transitional government to get aid into the hard hit areas. the two sides have a number of differences.
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>> i think a lot has been said about it. the agreement that terrorism does exist, and it's a very very serious problem inside of syria. it's perhaps not yet an agreement on how to deal with it. >> on the ground in syria, in damascus, the camp has been sealed off since the start of the syrian war, and it has not received any aid for a week. if e. >> and dramatic satellite images by a syrian watch group say that the government is doing things on purpose. >> this is the suburbs of damascus, and it has been fought over by the government and the
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rebels repeatedly in the last few years. it has pictures of rubble strewn roads. and new evidence suggests that the destruction of property here is not an accident of war. human rights watch has compiled a report that claims that the government has been demolishing thousands of houses here, in other parts of damascus and another city. they show how extensive the damage is. this is the picture in september of 2012, and this is the same place one month later. this is part of the capital, close to the military airport seen in february of last year. mob forward to july and the craft is clear. human rights watch said that it has spoken to the owners of some of the properties who confirm the demolitions. the group alleges that the government has systematically
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targeted residential buildings in areas which support the opposition. the government says the demolitions are merely part of approved urban planning. >> i did not think that this is urban planning. this is mass destruction in civilian neighborhoods. what the report points out, and in my own research, is that this urban planning, if you like, is strategically where the syrian army had strong presence, and was hunkered down and it was difficult to drive them out. >> reporter: the authors of the report say there's no evidence of such demolitions taking place in areas that generally support the government. the u.n. now says that almost 6 and a half million people have been displaced inside of syria, and that almost 2 and a half million refugees have left the country since the war began. dom anyondominic cane, aljazeer.
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>> there's good news coming out of syria, the toddler found alive after the airstrike is doing remarkably well. who could remember the 14-month-old dugout of the she had been alive for at least 3 minutes. that happened last week. today the baby girl is doing much better, and in fact she appears to be unharmed but the problem is, her mother was killed in that attack. in kiev, the president called out sick. victor yanokovych is on leave because of respiratory illness and high fever. but some shay say that it has more to do with the amnesty bill, and jennifer, i'm sure that the sceptics are lining up. >> they are, del, they say that president yanokovych is playing for time.
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after the announcement that he was going to be sick and unavailable for the foreseeable future, a statement from the people saying that his government has done all it can for the crisis, and he blames the opposition for the escalating tensions here. it comes after we saw conciliatory actions by the government. and we saw earlier this week the parliament repealing the laws passed earlier this month that made elements of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly here criminalized. and while that law has been repealed, it was not signed by president yanokovych, and so it has not been repealed yet. and passed about i the parliament last night, the opposition didn't even vote on that law, and that has not been signed by the president either. the justice minister, the person we heard speaking for the president in the last couple of
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days, said that they were just technicalities holding that up, but the fact that it hasn't gone forward is very much a concern, and certainly kind of shows the gap between the government and the opposition remains very very wide at this point. >> jennifer, you've been our person on the ground there almost since day one, and how much pressure is the government on at this point? >> reporter: del, i think i lost you in my ear, but there are just a couple of quick points that i want to make because we have had some important developments today. we heard from the european commission chief, veroso, and the polish prime minister. saying that they hope that everybody responsible for violence here will be brought to justice. she has received some disturbing news about the violence and
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abductions that have been going on in the past few weeks. the prosecutor general's office confirms that 230 people were detained and 140 arrested over these demonstrations in the past two months, and since that amnesty bill is on hold, those people are not going anywhere soon. the opposition calls them hostages and says that the government is basically trying to pressure them to come off the streets. so as i said, it's a very difficult and delicate situation. the first president of the ukraine yesterday said that the ukraine is on the brink of civil war, and we have seen a lot of political maneuvering and certainly no middle ground. >> jennifer glass, thank you. a prison plagued by dangerous living conditions for inmates. why officials say they can't make it safe. and medical marijuana is a booming business, and that's turning farm land in california
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into a battle ground.
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>> brazil has the largest prison population in south america, and now it's half a million people. the largest is crowded and filthy. and things are not likely to change any time soon. >> it's one of the largest and best-known prisons in brazil for all of the wrong reasons. the capacity of has more than twice that number. in a country with terrible prison conditions, welcome to one of the worst. inmates make a signal with their hands, which means overcrowding. clothes, towels and sheets hang out the window. in the massive complex,
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prisoners are stuck wherever there's room. this room should hold four people, and at night it hold as many as 10. prison officials prevented us from interviewing the inmates. this is a shower that's shared by hundreds of inmates. cables are stitched together for electric, and if there's a fire, there's little help. >> this is the kitchen where some of the i mates in this winning of the prison cook. as you see, it's just filthy dirty, and even worse, there are flies everywhere, there are mosquitoes and cockroaches, and above here is where some raw sewage comes in from the cells above and goes out to the main patio. the i from a structure is in total collapse, and in the past three years, 15 inmates have died from drug overdose or other
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health-related problems. local judges and public defenders took the case to the human rights group in the united states to ask for immediate measures to improve conditions. >> there's a need to completely close the jail to reactivate it, to make it suitable for the number of i mates it has. >> the state superintendent of the prison system says that it's not ideal. but they new prisons are in the process of being built. [ speaking spanish ] >> i can't improve the conditions in the jail without taking those prisoners out there. the conditions are interrelated. but building new prisons is not something that i can do from one day to the next. >> reporter: outside of the prison gates, family members of inmates bring sacks of supplies because of conditions of overcrowding and food is essential. >> if i bring toilet paper, my
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19-year-old son will be able to clean himself. and if i bring soap, he can take a shower. >> mothers saying that it's hell, after seeing inside for condition that's few can argue with. >> on wall street, stocks are on the come back trail. boosting investor confidence. right knew, the dow up 35 points, and the index has been down four of the last five sessions if everyone. >>ups will spend money on improvements. they were overwhelmed by the crush of late online shopping orders, some of your christmas gifts getting there after the holidays. sales of legal marijuana in california are booming bu it's
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experiencing a different boom, there it's over farmland. >> you see the green right there. >> reporter: mike and bill are on the hunt for green. >> basically, it's right out in the open. >> marijuana plants hidden among fresno county's vast farmland. a black tarp separating it from the orchard. >> there's one guy's marijuana crop. and he probably makes more money in that than the whole orchard. >> reporter: allowing patients to grow up to 99 cannibus plants with the recommendation, but some farmers are now twisting that law to fuel a lucrative trade, transforming the central valley into the largest supplier of domestic marijuana.
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>> one bag, how much does it go for? >> well, here in california, it will go from 800 to $1,000 a pound. all of this was scheduled or set up to be made outside of the state, where they can get 3 or $4,000 a pound. >> reporter: fresno county sheriff, margaret, said that it has tripled in the last year. >> it's not like the marijuana 20 years ago or 10 year ago. the thc content is much much higher >> reporter: the green rush has turned the greenfield into battle fields. armed men protecting the crops. this farmer put up surveillance cameras after police a say a teenager was shot to death, trying to steal pot plants. >> it's like we're in our own little compound, in our own prison. >> marijuana related crimes have killed nine people since 2012.
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the board of supervisors was ordered to ban dispensaries last year, and this month, they banned growing marijuana altogether in unincorporated areas. >> you ground up your cannibus, and you just inhale. >> reporter: he uses it to control his asthma, and the move punishes patients. >> this doesn't fix that. those large growers are already illegal. and what they have is an enforcement problem. >> authorities struggle to control the booming trade. nearly 600 marijuana fields were counted in fresno last year, and less than one-third were eradicated. >> when we come back, a changing culture in afghanistan. why this theater in kabul could represent the last picture show.
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>> welcome back to aljazeera
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america, i'm del walters and these are your headlines at this hour. nine people now believed dead after an overnight fire in western kentucky. eight of those victims appearing to children, and it's unclear if they're all from the same family. atlanta is recovering from an ice storm that paralyzed the cities roads and highways for two days. thousands of people were left stranded in cars when millions of commuters and school children tried to get home at the same time after the storm hit. in kiev, the president calling in sick saying that he has a fever. the law for amnesty for protesters, it's not official until the president shows up to sign-off! >> in kabul, afghanistan, it could very well be the last picture show. a movie house full of memories is about to be shutred again. but this time its progress that will kill the picture show. and we have the story from
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kabul. >> reporter: time almost stands still here. it at kabul's cinema, using antique tools of the trade. the cinema's workers remember well it's heyday, but technology and a rapidly changing society is killing the buzz around the big screen. decades of work pushed people back into their homes and into a mindset that still remains. generations of afghans used to come here to watch movies. the theater itself has hardly changed if over 50 years, but the current generation are left to come here to watch phipps, and they end up playing to an empty house.
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mohammed remembers with pride how the place once was. >> this cinema, i remember, it was very deluxe. people would come with their families here, and there was hardly a free seat. everybody was perfect, carpet and curtains, and it was full of men and women. >> reporter: while the rest of kabul rushes to modernize, the park cinema stayed locked in its past. few investors wanted to throw their money into something now so unpopular. cinema remains open civil because the government covers most of its costs. even they are sentimental about the place. now a tribute to something lost. aljazeera, kabul, afghanistan. >> we want to leave you with something that you haven't seen much of in the last few days. the dow right now in positive territory, a big rebound, up 136
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points much it has been down the last five segs, and your 401k is not too happy. we want to thank you for watching aljazeera america. aim del walters. "the stream," check it out 24 hours a day at our producer is here as always, bringing in all of your live comments throughout the show. most people, including you and me, before deciding to do this show, had no idea that folks from myanmar, the country formerly known as burma, make up one of the largest groups of refugees in thu.